THE forthcoming elections present an opportunity for the people of Lusaka, especially those in townships, to elect candidates with competence to champion development in the city, Movement for Economic Freedom (MEF) general secretary Reagan Mubatsa has said. Mr Mubatsa observed that after 51 years of Zambia’s independence, there were still some areas in the capital city which were underdeveloped. He charged that most of the civic leaders in the city had not fulfilled the promises they made to their electorate during the last elections. “It’s really shocking that we still have places in Lusaka that look like a village; this is an acceptable. Lusaka is a capital city and should look like one. “If you go to places like Kanyama, Chawama, Mtendere, Garden and Msisi people are still suffering and one would wonder if such places are in Lusaka. Our city fathers have neglected the people who put them in power,” he said. Mr. Mubatsa appealed to Lusaka residents to consider their future and vote wisely in the upcoming elections. He urged them to take the elections seriously and vote for people who were going to deliver and make change in the city. “The upcoming elections are critical to Lusaka and the country at large as they present an opportunity for people to elect candidates who are competent to represent Lusaka in Cabinet in the next five years and deal with the challenges of the city,” he said. Mr. Mubatsa also said it was important for residents to include economic reality as a determinant of candidates that would be elected in the city. He noted that due to economic challenges facing the country, Lusaka was one of the cities which had suffered massively. “We need people who are going to create ideas and opportunities for the young people in these kombonies; many youths don’t have anything to do especially with the economic challenges that the country is facing, most of them have lost jobs,” he said. Mr. Mubatsa advised residents not to be carried away by sweet talk and material things from some politicians during campaigns. “We are appealing to the people to vote for candidates with competence to champion development in this city; they should not be carried away by gifts from these politicians, but instead they should elect leaders who will deliver,” Mr. Mubatsa said.